Missy


Emily Seebohm blew her wad early in the 100 backstroke with swims of 58.2 in the heats and 58.3 in the semis; she only had a 58.6 left in her for finals. Missy Franklin did the opposite, going a 59.6 in the heats, a 59.3 in the semis, and saving her best for last: a 58.3 in the finals, even after having just swum in the semis of the 200 free fourteen minutes earlier.

It was a masterful performance; and Missy is obviously an all around exemplary girl.

I just wish they wouldn't interview her afterward. Am I the only one who feels as if he needs an insulin shot every time he hears Franklin speak?

Everything means the world to her, everyone is just so wonderful, and every new experience is just the greatest ever.

At a certain level, her uniformly upbeat emotional state seems to keep her on an even keel; it must help her swimming to only think positive thoughts. (She is the poster girl for Norman Vincent Peale.)

But there also seems to be an undertone of near-hysteria to her niceness. You almost get the impression that if a single negative thought entered her consciousness, her head would explode.

She reminds me a little of all the people I've met who alway try to say the right thing. I always want to tell them, "You know, you'd be a far more interesting person if instead of always saying whatever it is you think you're supposed to be say, you'd occasionally say what you actually think."

Who knows, maybe Missy really is that nice. Maybe when she was born, the dial just got set to HAPPY, and that's just where she's at neurobiologically. Maybe she was born with an excess of serotonin, and the world is just a great big rave party for her.

She's certainly not a hypocrite: she's turned down an awful lot of money just to be able to have the experience of being on a college team.

(Note to Missy: I've been on one, and it ain't all that great. After these Games you'll be at your peak earning potential: take the money and run!)

Yes, I know I'm a horrible old grouch for pointing all this out.

I guess I'm jealous, partly of Missy's Olympic gold, but mostly of her frame of mind. I only wish that over the course of an entire week I could experience the amount of happiness she seems feel every five minutes.